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The print designs

The print design of Marjatta Metsovaara during the 1960s can be divided in different stylistic periods.

1. Graphic patterns and plant motifs.

In the early stage, the designs were dominated by graphic design and plant motifs. In the earliest printed fabrics, there are influences from pan-European ornamentation, such as Pitsi (lace) or Iso-renessanssi (large Renaissance). In these designs, Baroque plant themes came in and also referred to the form of Art Nouveau.

Boldly traditional patterned designs such as ornaments, baroque silk acanthus, and pomegranate also came in the picture with designs Samurai or Sayonara.

Metsovaara designed each idea by developing pattern size, colors, and color combinations. The same printed fabric pattern as Ruusu (rose) from 1963 was used for weaving jacquard furniture fabrics or later in 1969 redesigned as linen jacquard named Primavera. The last time roses were seen everywhere was at the turn of the 20th Century. The philosophy of the English arts and crafts movement carried out by William Morris (1834 – 1896) was an example. His textiles and wallpapers were flooded with roses, poppies, and carnations. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s (1868 – 1928) favorite designs also included roses. Marjatta Metsovaara’s Ruusu is most reminiscent of her personal view on Mackintosh’s version and Art Nouveau’s influenced style. The damask cloth Sata Ruusua (one hundred roses) of Dora Jung in 1961 inspired Marjatta Metsovaara to create the design. Laila Karttunen weaved her tapestry named Yksi ruusu (one rose) in 1930 and Ruusupuu (rose tree) in 1964.

2. Scarse geometry and large flowers.

The patterns and the colors of the printed fabrics designed by Marjatta Metsovaara changed at the end of the 1960s. It was replaced by monochrome, striped and large-patterned fabrics where the graphic patterns were partly pictorial. Such were Kaisla (reed) and Meteori (meteor). Both were carpet designs first and showed clear influences for and from modern painting. The two-colored nature of the design and the distortion, depression, and waving affected the viewer like op-art. It gives the viewer the impression of movement and warping.

3. Architectural and simplistic.

The style of the printed fabric changed to an architectural, simplistic, and naive direction. The colors of the printed fabrics made with a large brush matured and deepened even more. In the modern designs of the textile artist, there was a desire to reduce form and a desire for liberation from the reproduction of nature, as in Aalto (wave) and Vulkaano (vulcan) printed fabrics. Stylistically, there’s some inspiration for Pop art. Round motives like Kupla (bubble) and more geometric Pasianssi (solitaire) represented Metsovaara’s soft-lined patterns and compiled the strong color combinations typical of the artist.

By the end of the 1960s, the graceful ornamental floral motifs were almost lost in her print designs. The floral motifs were presented strong with either matte or warm colors, and the geometrical designs formed large color fields. Floral motifs were best shown with Puketti (bouquet) and Unikko (poppy).

Floral prints were abundantly exported to the United States, where these prints were even used to make boards for decorating airports and other public spaces.

Marjatta Metsovaara expanded its print design to woven linen. The linen set, designed in 1968, was divided into three parts: a chequered Ruska series resembling the herbaceous flax, a semi-linen floral Primavera series, and a linen-like cotton series with design Krysanteemi (chrysanthemum) and Untuvapallo (down ball). All series also included monochrome napkins in many colors.

Back to history

The print designs

The print design of Marjatta Metsovaara during the 1960s can be divided in different stylistic periods.

1. Graphic patterns and plant motifs.

In the early stage, the designs were dominated by graphic design and plant motifs. In the earliest printed fabrics, there are influences from pan-European ornamentation, such as Pitsi (lace) or Iso-renessanssi (large Renaissance). In these designs, Baroque plant themes came in and also referred to the form of Art Nouveau.

Boldly traditional patterned designs such as ornaments, baroque silk acanthus, and pomegranate also came in the picture with designs Samurai or Sayonara.

Metsovaara designed each idea by developing pattern size, colors, and color combinations. The same printed fabric pattern as Ruusu (rose) from 1963 was used for weaving jacquard furniture fabrics or later in 1969 redesigned as linen jacquard named Primavera. The last time roses were seen everywhere was at the turn of the 20th Century. The philosophy of the English arts and crafts movement carried out by William Morris (1834 – 1896) was an example. His textiles and wallpapers were flooded with roses, poppies, and carnations. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s (1868 – 1928) favorite designs also included roses. Marjatta Metsovaara’s Ruusu is most reminiscent of her personal view on Mackintosh’s version and Art Nouveau’s influenced style. The damask cloth Sata Ruusua (one hundred roses) of Dora Jung in 1961 inspired Marjatta Metsovaara to create the design. Laila Karttunen weaved her tapestry named Yksi ruusu (one rose) in 1930 and Ruusupuu (rose tree) in 1964.

2. Scarse geometry and large flowers.

The patterns and the colors of the printed fabrics designed by Marjatta Metsovaara changed at the end of the 1960s. It was replaced by monochrome, striped and large-patterned fabrics where the graphic patterns were partly pictorial. Such were Kaisla (reed) and Meteori (meteor). Both were carpet designs first and showed clear influences for and from modern painting. The two-colored nature of the design and the distortion, depression, and waving affected the viewer like op-art. It gives the viewer the impression of movement and warping.

3. Architectural and simplistic.

The style of the printed fabric changed to an architectural, simplistic, and naive direction. The colors of the printed fabrics made with a large brush matured and deepened even more. In the modern designs of the textile artist, there was a desire to reduce form and a desire for liberation from the reproduction of nature, as in Aalto (wave) and Vulkaano (vulcan) printed fabrics. Stylistically, there’s some inspiration for Pop art. Round motives like Kupla (bubble) and more geometric Pasianssi (solitaire) represented Metsovaara’s soft-lined patterns and compiled the strong color combinations typical of the artist.

By the end of the 1960s, the graceful ornamental floral motifs were almost lost in her print designs. The floral motifs were presented strong with either matte or warm colors, and the geometrical designs formed large color fields. Floral motifs were best shown with Puketti (bouquet) and Unikko (poppy).

Floral prints were abundantly exported to the United States, where these prints were even used to make boards for decorating airports and other public spaces.

Marjatta Metsovaara expanded its print design to woven linen. The linen set, designed in 1968, was divided into three parts: a chequered Ruska series resembling the herbaceous flax, a semi-linen floral Primavera series, and a linen-like cotton series with design Krysanteemi (chrysanthemum) and Untuvapallo (down ball). All series also included monochrome napkins in many colors.

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